Beauty is defined as a subjective quality of certain objects that cause these objects to be pleasant to perceive. Such objects can be humans, landscapes and beautiful works of art. Beauty, along with beauty, is perhaps the most important theme of aesthetics, one of the oldest branches of modern philosophy. The word ‘beauty’ is derived from the Greek word ‘beautous’, which originally referred to artistic or physical beauty. In recent years, however, the beauty has come to refer more to emotional beauty.
According to the twentieth century aesthetician Leo Tolstoy, beauty is a desire that is often based in personal need. He explained beauty as an ideal and personal need, which Tolstoy claimed can be fulfilled by creating and adopting certain ideals. The first element of this Tolstoyan definition of beauty is desire; desire for something greater than ourselves or for some object of desire we hold in high regard.
However, many people believe that beauty is something very different from what Leo Tolstoy described above. For some, beauty is seen as an object rather than an ideal or personal need. If you want to feel beautiful, they say, look around at all the beautiful objects around you. Others view beauty differently, saying that beauty is subjective and not connected to one person or thing. For them, beauty exists in each and every person and is independent of race, class or gender. In these definitions, beauty is seen as something that each person will love regardless of their own ability to be beautiful.
When asked if they think that beauty is subjective, a majority of the population responded in the affirmative. However, when asked if they thought beauty was something they were attracted to personally, a different majority answered in the negative. These answers reveal a difference of opinion on beauty. Beauty is seen in the eye of the beholder – it is subjective and dependent upon the individual. This is similar to the belief that beauty is something that only a few people like, and that everybody finds beauty in something or someone else.
Another way to look at beauty is to look at beauty as something that only one person can appreciate. While it may seem unfair for other people to see beauty in things that only you can enjoy, this perspective does have some merit. After all, the opinions of other people come into play in this equation as well. If you feel beautiful inside, then it follows that it will be difficult for you to see other things in your world to be beautiful. Beauty is subjective, and while you may not like the opinions of others, you should respect them and take them with grace.
Beauty therefore, in the mind of a beholder, relates to the individual. The object of beauty may change from one person to the next, but the idea of beauty remains constant. It is important to note that beauty is only one aspect of life. There is beauty in things that are physical, such as food and clothes, but there is also beauty in words, emotions, kindness, generosity, and other human qualities that are beyond our ability to quantify. In general, beauty should not be defined as anything except what a person sees as beauty – a point that many would agree with.